Meet Chip

This is Chip.  He is a baby squirrel that fell from a tall tree in the neighbor’s yard of my friends the Copley/Boegli family.  Perhaps you’ll remember the Copley name from name from previous blogs.... Dave Copley is my beloved flute maker extraordinaire.  He and his family are an integral part of the Riley School family as his wife, Marlene Boegli, not only makes all the silver hardware for Copley-Boegli flutes, but she cooks delicious homemade food for the Riley clan every week.  I went over to their farmy-like place for a visit today to see what creatures are afoot there recently.  Marlene is not only a brilliant silver-smith and a great cook, but she is also one of those animal whisperer types to whom many homeless, hapless fourlegged creatures find their way.  Chip, at 5 weeks old, is one of them.

Just yesterday he opened his eyes and is beginning to wander around a bit, looking a little like a little drunkard.  Marlene explained that since squirrels are so high up in the wild, they take their time growing and gaining weight and stay quite still to avoid falls like the one Chip got himself into.  Despite his plunge, he is doing well, putting on some chunkiness with Marlene’s magical mixture of kitten formula, egg yolk and cream (or some such concoction).

We talked about what good it does to even save a baby squirrel.  There are surely enough to go around here in Cincinnati.  But there is something precious about a baby anything and Marlene knows her wild animals.  I am guessing that Chip will get nursed into adulthood by the Copley-Boegli’s to make it thru the winter, then hit the wild side of life outdoors in the spring, always knowing where to come home to for nourishment and love.  I figure Marlene will get her animal talents certified sometime soon and become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator so she can take in more than just the odd squirrel…. or duck….

This india runner duck was hit by a car near their house and is on the mend.  A new farm home awaits him when he is ready.  The never ending stream of critters at the Copley-Boegli’s is a joy to behold.  I have tons of pictures from which to sketch.  Sometimes animals just wiggle too much to catch them real time.  I have found that with my own pack-o-pups!

Inch by inch

I’ve been feeling a little guilty lately about the fact that I have not been making a whole lot of art, let alone blogging.  But that doesn’t mean that I have had a distinct period of inactivity either.  As wrote in my last post, things have just been at a standstill in the studio and my energies have been primarily on the homefront.  This continues to be the case as we navigate the final touches on the renovation of the major spaces of our house.  This process has been fraught with little victories and annoyances along the way but basically things are coming together.

I miss my studio work however and so have been slowly reclaiming my work space as my own as we get things put back where they belong.  Like many homes, ours works like a puzzle whose pieces fit together in a specific way.  When one piece, or in our case many pieces, are out of place, the whole puzzle is a jumble and all the pieces don’t sit right.  For months my studio held four rooms of furniture in it as we worked on the rest of the house.  Finally the piano, couches, appliances et al are back in the other room.  I have cleared out the spiders and their recent developments and there is breathing room in here again.  Maybe some decent work is around the corner…

Meanwhile, Mother Nature showed a bit of her nasty side last week when a freak wind storm hit our area and took down trees and power lines.  We didn’t have much damage, thankfully, just a few days without power and some spoiled food.  We were lucky.  Our neighborhood has tons of old trees so there was much to see when the wind finally died down.

The kids were off of school for 3 whole days due to power outages and so were forced to find alternative things to do with their time.  We all used the daylight as much as we could for yard clean up and chores.  At night we lit candles and donned headlamps and spent our evenings playing music and reading.  A few nights we just went to bed early.  I secretly enjoy a good power outage.  It would get to be a pain over time, surely, but there is something about the quiet that happens and how creative people tend to get when television is not an option….piano-in-the-dark